In his opening rematks, the Chairperson expressed his sadness on the passing of Deputy Minister of Mineral Resources Ms Bavalile Hlongwa on Friday, 13 September 2019. She had tragically died in a motor-vehicle accident. He described her as being fearless and someone who was never afraid to express her views. He noted that over the past few weeks she had tried to set up a meeting with him to go to a particular township to address the masses over his philosophy of a township economy. She was concerned about township youth struggling to eke out a living. He was disappointed that the meeting with her had not materialised as he kept on postponing it.
The Chairperson placed the Draft Concept on Tourism Oversight Forum, September 2019 before members for consideration and adoption. He noted that the Draft Concept Paper was not 100% perfect and would be refined as time went on. Members felt that there was a role for local government and for provinces to play as far as oversight is concerned and that this role could be elaborated upon in the Draft Concept document. The Committee noted that the Draft Concept Paper as a living document, and adopted it with a proviso that the Committee could improve on it.
The Draft Committee Programme for the Third Term 2019 was adopted as amended. Members appreciated that topical issues that had come up during meetings of the Committee had been captured in the Draft Committee Programme. A major change to the Draft Committee Programme was that the oversight visit scheduled for the Free State for 3-6 December 2019 was now changed to an oversight visit to the Limpopo Provinces. Members felt it was more productive to do oversight over projects/programmes that had challenges than to those who were running smoothly. Projects/ programmes in the Limpopo Province had faced challenges.
The Committee Secretariat provided members with an update on preparations for World Tourism Day Celebrations in KwaZulu-Natal. The Committee’s oversight visit to Howick in KwaZulu-Natal was scheduled over three days ie 26, 27 and 28 September 2019. Members were given a breakdown of the itinerary over the three day visit. The Committee in principle approved its KwaZulu-Natal oversight visit programme. Members expressed concern over how many of them would be allowed to go on the oversight visit given that the entire Committee wished to go. The Chairperson assured Members that he would speak to the National Assembly House Chairperson, Mr Cedric Frolick about this.
Condolonces for Deputy Minister Hlongwa
The Chairperson expressed his sadness on the passing of Deputy Minister of Mineral Resources, Ms Bavalile Hlongwa on Friday, 13 September 2019. She had died in a motor vehicle accident trying to help others who had also been in a collision. As a revolutionary, Deputy Minister Hlongwa was always in the first and last line of defence. She had been fearless and was never afraid to express her views. Over the past two weeks she had pressured him about going with her to a township where she wished for him to speak to the masses about his philosophy of a township economy. She was passionate about the youth and was concerned about township youth trying to eke out a living. He was sad that this meeting with her in the township had not materialised because he had kept on postponing. Perhaps it was now for him, in her absence, to take the matter of township economies forward. He had explained to her the value chain that was involved. The Department of Agriculture should come on board to assist. Young people in townships should be given seedlings and whatever was needed to start things off. They could also own little farms. Small slaughterhouses should be set up with refrigeration facilities. Deputy Minister Hlongwa had wished for there to be township markets as well. She never did give him the name of the township that she wished to visit with him. Her death was a shock but it was God’s will and nobody knew when it was their time.
The Committee had a moment of silence in honour of Deputy Minister Hlongwa.
Consideration of Draft Concept on Tourism Oversight Forum, September 2019
The Chairperson pointed out that the Draft Concept document had been circulated to Members the previous week. He was confident that they had gone through the Draft Concept document. The Committee would not be going through the document. There was a need to ensure that people on the ground had to assist with oversight. He placed the Draft Concept document before Members for consideration and comment. He noted that the Draft Concept document was not 100% perfect and would be refined as time went on. The Committee could adopt the Draft Concept document
with a proviso that it could improve on it.
Ms S Xego (ANC) appreciated the progress that had been made on the Draft Concept document thus far. It had to be remembered that tourism was a concurrent function. The Draft Concept document was a living document that would be improved upon as time went by. She felt that the Committee ought to adopt it. She asked how persons in the local government space could be represented. The South African Local Government Association (SALGA) was one option. She noted that local government was a compromising space. The issue was about how to get local government on board. The challenge was that work had to be done in demarcated areas.
Mr K Sithole (IFP) expressed condolences to the loved ones of Deputy Minister Hlongwa. He said that the Committee needed to have a stance on how it could feature at local government level.
Mr M de Freitas (DA) felt that the Draft Concept document would perhaps make provinces that were not prioritising tourism to do so. He asked whether the Committee would be scheduling meetings with the forums that were envisaged, going forward.
The Chairperson responded that going forward there would be meetings with forums. There was a need to familiarise people in municipalities on processes. The role of local government as set out in the Draft Concept document needed to be strengthened. The Committee would also be working with its counterparts in provincial government. Meetings with provincial government would take place on a quarterly basis. Provincial government would also have to play a role when members were doing oversight. For instance a member doing oversight in his/her province would be joined by the chairperson of the relevant provincial government committee as well as by representatives from local government. He added that work would also be done with universities on modelling. This would assist the Committee with research which would allow the Committee to respond with policies and legislation.
The Draft Concept document was adopted unamended.
Consideration of Draft Committee Programme for Third Term 2019
Mr Jerry Boltina, Committee Secretary, presented the Draft Committee Programme to Members. The Draft Committee Programme ran for nine weeks from 8 October 2019 to 6 December 2019.
He pointed out that the National Department of Tourism (NDT) would soon table its Annual Report in Parliament. As soon as it happened the Committee was required to process the Annual Report. It was up to the Committee to accept or make changes to the Draft Committee Programme. Even the House Chairperson had been informed that changes could be made to the Draft Committee Programme.
The Chairperson said that, on 26 September 2019, the Committee would be going on oversight to the KwaZulu-Natal. In particular, the Committee would be visiting Howick which was where Mr G Krumbock hailed from.
Mr Sithole, on the first meeting scheduled for the Committee on 8 October 2019, felt that it was not advisable for the Committee to meet with the Auditor General of SA and with the National Department of Tourism in the same meeting. There should be two separate meetings.
The Committee agreed to have two separate meetings.
Ms Xego appreciated that the Draft Committee Programme for the Third Term reflected meetings on issues that Members had raised. She thanked the Committee Section for picking up on issues which Members had deliberated on. She did however wish to recommend that joint meetings with counterparts in committees dealing with safety issues and home affairs matters should be included in the Committee’s Programme for subsequent terms of Parliament.
Ms L Makhubele-Mashele (ANC) too appreciated that topical maters were reflected in the Draft Committee Programme. She asked whether the oversight visit to the Free State scheduled for 3-6 December 2019 was wise given that the Golden Gate (Dinosaur Project) was doing well. There were no challenges. The Committee ought to do oversight on programmes/ projects where there were challenges. The NDT had in briefings stated that for instance in Limpopo there had been delays on two gateways. Timeframes had to be moved. These were the types of projects that the Committee needed to do oversight on. She proposed that the Committee rather do an oversight to the Limpopo from 3-6 December 2019.
The Chairperson asked the Committee whether it was agreeable to the proposal. This was the advantage of having members from the 5th parliament sitting on the Committee. There was continuity of issues.
The Committee agreed to an oversight to the Limpopo rather than to Free State.
Ms M Gomba (ANC) suggested that the Committee visit projects that had not been completed but where money had been spent..
The Chairperson said that this was exactly what the oversight visit to Limpopo was for especially now that the Committee was working with provincial and local government counterparts. In the template that was envisaged the Committee would be able to get information on where projects were ie where province and local government did oversight to. The Committee would also track projects. The Committee would have an idea on the total number of national, provincial and local government projects that had been implemented. Detail on budgets and timeframes would also be available. The Committee would know the projects that were out there.
Mr Krumbock, having sat on the Committee for many years, said that a great deal of oversight had been done. He had observed that there were some bad projects in Limpopo and the Eastern Cape. These were Social Responsibility Infrastructure (SRI) projects. There were some that were good. He noted that Ms Shamillar Chettiar Deputy Director General: Destination Development, NDT had given the Committee an update on SRI projects about a year and a half ago. Some of the projects were continuing whilst others had been abandoned. He suggested that the NDT provide the Committee with a full list of SRI projects in order for the Committee to prioritise the more important ones. The Committee needed to do a follow up on the bad ones in the Limpopo and the Eastern Cape Provinces.
Mr de Freitas said that when the Committee visited provinces then the relevant tourism committee in the province should join the Committee.
The Chairperson said that when Parliament in the future strengthened its oversight strategies, it needed to have its own auditing experts. He was saying this because the Auditor General of SA did sampling in carrying out audits. There was a sample-based approach. Future leaders of Parliament should look for qualified, experienced auditors that could work with Committees. How could such capacity be sourced? Such capacity should be part of Parliament. It was something that could benefit future generations.
Mr M Galo (AIC) stated that the Chairperson had made a good suggestion regarding Parliament having its own auditing capacity. He urged the Chairperson to make the suggestion to the powers that be in Parliament.
Ms Xego, on the process of oversight that the Chairperson was leading, said that there should be a document in which the process was captured and on which the Committee agreed. In this way other committees and Parliament as a whole could be influenced. The Committee was limited for the most to do one oversight visit per quarter to a province. She said that there were other ways to do oversight. It should be captured in a document. In this way it could be adopted by others.
The Chairperson said that transformation in the sector was of huge importance. The Committee had undertaken to make it a priority for the next year ie September 2019 to September 2020. This could be communicated via a press statement. There could not be reliance on the Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment (B-BBEE) Charter Council. Some of the members of the B-BBEE Charter Council were doing oversight over themselves. The constitution said that there should be a non-racial and non-sexist society in SA. SA’s economy should also be non-racial and non-sexist. There was a need for the Committee to build capacity. The economy should not be discriminatory towards women. Transformation was a long and protracted process and there was no quick fix. The injustices of the past had to be dealt with. However one should remember not to antagonise SA’s society in trying to bring about transformation. The Committee needed to have a list of all sectors that were involved in tourism. In this way the Committee could check which sector was transformed and which was dragging its feet. There should be no talk of black and white. Sacrifices should be made so that future generations could benefit. By September 2020 the Committee would be able to inform SA how far tourism was on transformation. It was not only about what the B-BBEE Charter Council had to say. The Committee would itself make a determination on who was dragging its feet. If legislation needed to be changed then it would be done. In SA wealth had to be shared by all. He placed the Draft Committee Programme for the Third Term before the Committee for adoption.
The Draft Committee Programme for the Third Term was adopted as amended.
Update on preparations for World Tourism Day Celebrations
Mr Boltina stated that the oversight visit to Howick in KwaZulu-Natal was scheduled over three days ie 26, 27 and 28 September 2019. The Committee Secretariat had prepared an application for the visit and it had been submitted to Parliament for approval. There had been some challenges with the travel arrangements and the quotations received. The trip was being undertaken during constituency period and as such the assumption was that Members would be in their constituencies. He thus needed Members to provide him with information on where they would be travelling from and back. This information would be provided to the travel agent. He pointed out that for instance for a member from the Eastern Cape Province, the member would travel from the Eastern Cape to Johannesburg and from there catch a flight to the KwaZulu-Natal Province.
He added that the Chairperson had written to the relevant Member of the Executive Council (MEC) in the KwaZulu-Natal Province about the Committee’s visit. This was done as the Committee needed assistance on stakeholder mobilisation. Other persons contacted were the Speaker of the KwaZulu-Natal Provincial Legislature, the Chairperson of Chairpersons and the Chairperson of the relevant Portfolio Committee in the Province. He expected to be contacted by the Province the following day.
Assisted by Ms Petra van Niekerk,the National Department of Tourism’s Parliamentary Liaison Officer, he gave the Committee a breakdown of the itinerary over the three day visit.
Mr Krumbock stressed that the Committee needed to interact with actual stakeholders whilst on the visit. He offered to provide the Committee with a list of people whom he thought it should interact with.
The Chairperson said that the list would be helpful and could be given to Mr Boltina. He informed the Committee that someone had written to him about baristas and tourism. He suggested that perhaps the Committee should make place in its schedule to meet with baristas and the role they played in tourism. He also said that perhaps the Committee could one day undertake a visit to the Afrikaner town Orania in the Northern Cape Province. The Committee could speak to them about a non racial SA and the role that they could play. He asked whether the Committee in principle approved the KwaZulu-Natal oversight visit programme.
The Committee approved its KwaZulu-Natal oversight visit programme.
Ms Xego asked whether all members of the Committee were going on the oversight visit. Were alternate members also going?
Mr Boltina explained that all portfolio committees had 11 permanent members plus alternate members. Usually it was the 11 permanent members that went on oversight. If a permanent member could not make it an alternate member could go along. That was the general practise. However in this instance he had added both permanent and alternate members’ names on the application to Parliament. He was just trying his luck.
The Chairperson asked when he expected feedback on the application.
Mr Boltina answered that he expected feedback possibly the next day.
Mr Krumbrock said that he would leave it up to Mr Boltina to sort out but said that this was one trip that he wished to be on as the oversight visit was, in a matter of speaking, right in his backyard. There was no need for the Committee to budget for him. He had his own transport, accommodation and, tongue in cheek said that he, would bring along his own lunch if needs be.
The Chairperson assumed that all Members wished to go on the oversight trip and would push for everyone to go along. He said that the Committee should, at least every six months, undertake an oversight visit. He would speak to the National Assembly House Chairperson Mr Cedric Frolick about this.
The Committee approved its KwaZulu-Natal oversight visit programme.
Mr de Freitas said that he would leave it up to the Chairperson to fight for Members to go on the trip.
Minutes dated 10 September 2019 was adopted unamended.
The meeting was adjourned.
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